Posts Tagged ‘Freddie Dancer’

Bernie’s Strong, And Don’t You Forget It

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August 18th, 2009 Posted 8:30 am

Bernie tugged at the door handle. “Seems to be stuck,” he said. So what? This was the door to the broom closet. Were we all going into the broom closet – me, Bernie, Suzie, Freddie Dancer and the other perp? Bernie tugged again, grunted the way humans do when they’re trying real hard at something. The door stayed close.

“Losing your strength already, Bernie?” said Freddie Dancer. I didn’t like hearing that, not one little bit. A low growling started up from somewhere or other. “Show him how it’s done, Trimmer,” Freddie said. Trimmer turned out to be the bald guy. A big bald guy. He let go of Suzie, pushed Bernie aside, and reached for the door handle. All I could think was: we don’t have an upstairs at 99 Mesquite Road.

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Upstairs at the Downstairs

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August 17th, 2009 Posted 7:49 am

We walked down the hall, me and Bernie, then Freddie Dancer and the bald guy with Suzie in between, the gun to her head. Past the office and Charlie’s room, we came to a closed door. Bernie stopped. “Upstairs we go,” he said.

Upstairs? We didn’t have an upstairs at 99 Mesquite Road, which is where we live – 99 Mesquite Road, in the Valley. The Valley goes on forever in all directions. That’s important. Is this the time to go into Bernie’s worries about the aquifer? I’m not sure. But even if we had an upstairs, this door didn’t lead to it. Why? Because it was the door to the broom closet. There’s a broom in there, plus other stuff, such as the vacuum. The vacuum doesn’t come out much since Leda left, a good thing, because something about the vacuum gets me going every time. Was the vacuum coming out now? Bernie reached for the door handle. I got ready for anything.

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Downstairs at the Upstairs

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August 16th, 2009 Posted 8:45 am

We went through the kitchen – me and Bernie in front, the bad guys with Suzie in the middle, Freddie Dancer’s gun to her head. We walked down the hall, past the office and Charlie’s bedroom. Have I mentioned Charlie? Love Charlie. He’s Bernie’s kid, Bernie’s and Leda’s, actually, and since the divorce his bedroom is mostly empty. Maybe I’ll get into the divorce thing some other time – I still remember a big plate flying through the air: who’d have thought Leda had an arm like that? Bernie’s got a great arm. He pitched in college, which for him was West Point. Also maybe a story for later. But right now, where we?

Sunday! Elvis Gospel! Milky White Way!

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A Little Mystery Inside A Big One

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August 15th, 2009 Posted 10:03 am

We left the patio,  me and Bernie first, then Freddie Dancer and the bald guy with Suzie in the middle, the gun still pointed at her head. Bernie had said we were headed upstairs to the office where the film can was in the safe. I had a thought: we didn’t have an upstairs. Or if we did, this was the first I’d heard of it. The office was a little room next door to Charlie’s bedroom, at the side of the house facing old man Heydrich’s fence. A basket of kid’s blocks lay in one corner – the room was meant for a little sister or brother that never came along; sometimes I played with the blocks myself. The rest of the office was mostly Bernie’s books – on shelves, in stacks here and there, sometimes scattered on the floor; plus the desk, with phone and computer; the two client chairs; and a nice soft rug with a pattern of circus elephants – kind of like my own personal cubicle, just without walls, very cozy, although even the idea of elephants got me nervous. But none of that was important. The important thing was we didn’t have an upstairs. I glanced at Bernie. His face was hard and stony.

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The Books



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